Let’s Talk About The Elephant In The Room

So, remember that awesomely amazing, super secret, incredible project I have been mentioning for close to two months? Well, here she is!

This amazing baby elephant (and she is a baby, she is actually about the same dimensions as a newborn elephant is!) is 30 inches tall, 44 inches tip of the trunk to the tail, and 47 inches from ear to ear. She weighs 35lbs, and her name is Cutie Pie. My manager’s daughter named her after seeing a photo.

This baby took me about 50 hours, 38 skeins of Lion Brand Hometown USA Circus (which is discontinued and not even on their website anymore!), and 23lbs of polyester fiberfil to make. She has been my biggest nightmare and my greatest joy.

It all started when I was harassing Stacey (from Puppet Pie) to make a series about craft fairs, shows, and face to face sales on her blog. And, like a good friend, she did. I was complaining to her about my lack of views, sales, and general interest at the fair I did last December. And, she had a brilliant idea. My logo is an elephant, I got started by making elephants, my elephants are my specialty…so why not make a display elephant?! She has an 8ft blue, fuzzy wall that draws attention to her display when she is at shows. And she said that I needed something to do the same, to make me unique, to give people something to remember me by. And apparently, being the crazy crochet lady with the giant elephant is it! So, I got to work.

I took my normal elephant pattern and just made it 4 times larger, pattern-wise, not directly (directly, it is actually 7.5, almost 8 times larger). I used Hometown USA because it was so bright, and really, really, really discounted. And, it was a very thick yarn, so I could use an N hook, which made my life SOOO much easier.

And I started crocheting…and crocheting…and crocheting. It started as something I worked on for a few hours each week, and about 2 weeks ago I realized that I was not on track to complete it…so I hunkered down and busted my butt to get her finished.

And she was worth every single penny and every last hour. She is my new pride and joy.

  A giant ear.

  It took me and Chris both to stuff her butt.

  This is two boxes of fiberfil in her.

Don’t mind the belly hair.

Once partially stuffed, it was so large that I had to sit on the edge of the couch to keep working on her.

Shaping the trunk got to be way too difficult, so it involved me standing on the couch or the floor, depending on which side I was working on.

 She’s getting there

Elephants are really creepy looking without ears. 🙂

Sewing on the ears Thursday night.
  And here she is, Miss America!

  She is so ridiculously awesome.

Baby got back.

This was my view out of my review mirror…
  She came to work with me and sat on our cost accountant’s desk all day. She was a super hit, everyone adored her!


Disneyland Is Still The Greatest

So, Chris and I had a blast at Disneyland and California Adventure Sunday night. We went to the parks right after his ex picked up their daughter. We got there just in time to see our absolute favorite Dime perform with the last show of Five and Dime for the night. Then we walked around for a bit, watched a little bit of the Freeze the Night show, and then headed over to Disneyland. We had a blast, watched the fireworks, rode Pirates, Indiana Jones, Haunted Mansion, and Space Mountain.

Well, as is the norm, I had brought a project for when we were waiting in line. I even brought my nifty crochet-lite hook, so that I could actually work in the lines, since it would be dark outside. We get a lot of comments, mostly made in my general direction, as opposed to people actually talking to me, about me crocheting in line. People are usually a little shocked by it, like it never occurred to them to bring something to do in line. (I also get weird comments when I bring a book and read, so I know it isn’t just the crochet thing.) Well, last night we had a lot of people talking to us about it. Wanting to know how I could work in the dark, how I had gotten to be so quick, if it made Chris mad, and all sorts of ridiculousness. I even had one person ask how I was making the yarn change colors…though, in their defense, they did not say it to me, just very loudly to their friend. Apparently, I am magical and can make yarn any color I want…man, that would be awesome by the way!

So, normally, when we get close to the ride, I put my project back in my purse. I mean, I go to Disney for the shows and rides, I am not going to ignore them. Those passes cost way too much money for that! And, the reason I bring crochet generally, instead of a book, is that I can still talk to Chris while I am crocheting. If I am reading, then I am ignoring him. Well, we were in line for Space Mountain, our final attraction for the evening before we were going to head home. We always do silly poses for the cameras, because well, we go a lot…and know where all the cameras are, and why would you not? We have great ones of us sleeping, acting like zombies, kissing, rocking out, all sorts of ridiculousness. So, we were talking about what we were going to do for the photo this time, and Chris looked at me and said, you should totally be crocheting. We laughed, I told him I would probably lose my hook, and we dropped it for a moment…and then we realized, that this could turn out epically awesome.

I think that the best part of this photo was the responses I got when I posted it to my SBD facebook page and my personal facebook page. People were in shock. I got SO many questions from friends and family about how I managed to crochet on that roller coaster, it is SO dark and jerky! I was genuinely surprised. It had never occurred to me that anyone would take the picture seriously, I figured that everyone would see the gag that it was, a pose, and fun. I am quite happy that people actually thought I was capable of crocheting on Space Mountain though, as opposed to just being a really good picture poser. 🙂 (Oh, and Chris’ pose is what makes this photo so amazingly epic. Thanks for being my funnier half love!)


The Pain of Mohair

As discussed in yesterday’s post, I have serious yarn problems. Part of the lot of 111 skeins that I got off of EBay, was A LOT of vintage yarn…seriously…the manufacture date on some of this yarn was the early 70s. And there was one beautiful gem in the lot…a few skeins of Lion Brand Imagine, Norwegian Woods. Now, Imagine still exists, but it is now an acrylic / wool / nylon blend. But, back in the day, Imagine was an acrylic / mohair blend.

Man, if you have never felt a mohair sweater, scarf, stuffed animal…you are really missing out on some amazingly soft, fuzzy yarn. But, if you have worked with it…you understand why it was discontinued. This stuff catches on everything. It is a nightmare if you make a mistake, because there is a pretty darn good chance that you are not getting that yarn separated from itself. I cannot even think about how much pain I went through with this yarn trying to correct minor errors.

Lion Brand does make another mohair, Moonlight Mohair. It is actually more mohair, less acrylic, even softer, and easier to work with. It has definitely come a long way since Imagine.

But, let’s get back to the Imagine yarn, with it’s pretty blue/gray/brown colors. For anyone who knows me, you know that I am all about earth tones and neutral colors. Being pasty white, I do not have much of a choice in the matter, so luckily I really like them.

In my boredom and frantic rage to create things for the Funky Finds craft fair last December, I started throwing skeins of anything soft that I could find in my travel bag and worked on scarves, hats, blankets, whatever, anywhere I went. Well, not knowing what mohair was or how hard it is to work with, I threw this in there before a long road trip once. What I also didn’t realize was that due to the small gauge of the yarn, I needed a really tiny hook, which made it all the more painful.

I started working on this scarf. It had a beautiful pattern, initially. But, I kept finding all sorts of mistakes and errors and having to frog large portions of the scarf. So, I did what any good yarn worker does…I turned my mistakes into a pattern and pretended like it was supposed to look like that. The pictures do not show the difference too well, I need to take better ones, but the ends of both sides of the scarf are more open, light, pretty. The rest is a solid piece, HDC, I believe. Life was much easier once I stopped trying to be fancy.

mohair scarf

kids scarf

winter scarf

Kid’s 40″ Mohair Scarf

The problem then, was that I had not used nearly all of this yarn. I still had so much…and I did not want to do anything else difficult with it. So, I went back to an old familiar, as I always do when I am at a struggle fro what to make. The result was the cutest, softest, cuddliest elephant ever. He is tiny, just 3in tall, but man oh man is he sweet. I am actually a little afraid that this guy will sell. Which would be great, he deserves a loving home, but heartbreaking to have to part with him. I left him blind on purpose…I just could not find a yarn for his eyes that did him justice. Everything just looked wrong…so here he is, in his blind, fuzzy splendor. Gawk all you want. I am quite proud of myself on this one.

amigurumi elephant

mohair elephant

3″ mohair elephant